Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Don Brennan of Off The Posts at the Ottawa Sun,
It was suggested to me this morning by a friend in the business that the Senators and Sharks might want to consider a 1-for-1, high-profile trade that would give each team a significant shake on the heels of a disappointing season: Jason Spezza for Joe Thornton.
Spezza, who is 25, is listed as 6-foot-2, 206 pounds. He has 418 points in 404 regular season games. He has 39 points in 40 playoff games. He’ll make $8 million for each of the next four years.
Thornton, who is 29, is listed as 6-foot-4, 235 pounds. He has scored 842 points in 836 regular season games. He has 53 points (and just 12 goals) in 76 playoff games. He’ll make $7.2 million for each of the next two seasons.
My opinion: The younger Spezza has more upside. But if the cap goes down, as expected, that salary could be a real handicap.
From Tim Wharnsby at the Globe & Mail:
San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan, nominated for the Jack Adams Trophy today, spent the three previous NHL seasons as an assistant coach under Detroit Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock.
The Wings coach acknowledged that he phoned McLellan on Thursday for advice on dealing the Ducks, who upset the Sharks in the first round. But Babcock would not divulge what sort of counsel he received from McLellan.
San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan and Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien, who led the NHL’s top two teams this season, and Andy Murray, who lifted the St. Louis Blues to a surprising Stanley Cup Playoff berth, are the three finalists for the 2009 Jack Adams Award in voting by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association.
from David Pollak of Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
“I apologize to our fans and I apologize to our owners because they deserve better,” Wilson said. “And believe me, I take full responsibility. You bring in people and you bring in situations and if there’s any enabling or entitlement that comes from that, then that belongs right here and nowhere else.”
Wilson noted that he usually waits a week to calm down after a playoff exit, “but you don’t deserve me having a week.”
Wilson, who said this was by far the most painful playoff exit yet, said at various times that fans “should be pissed off” and “should feel cheated.” That last point prompted someone to ask him if he felt cheated, too.
“I don’t feel cheated. I feel responsible. I’m part of it. If I’m part of the problem, then I better be working to find us solutions here.”
from David Pollak and Mark Emmons of the Mercury News,
Whatever changes lie ahead for the Sharks after the embarrassment of their first-round playoff exit in Anaheim, they won’t involve a new name on the wall outside the general manager’s office.
Sharks President Greg Jamison said Tuesday that while he and the ownership group are frustrated with the team’s postseason performance, Doug Wilson will continue to lead the hockey department.
“His body of work stands for itself, and our goal is to work together toward that magic goal of the Stanley Cup,” Jamison said.
added 8:45am, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
There is an unofficial manual for building an NHL team and no one follows the text better than San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson.
In short order, a team is supposed to draft the best available players, develop them patiently in the minors, and then promote them to the NHL, gradually doling out more and more responsibility as the experience levels increase.
The only thing missing from the manual is the unwritten final chapter, the one that deals with intangibles.
from John Ryan of the Mercury News,
So what positives can the Sharks draw from the fact that the darn puck just somehow decided on its own to go into the net more times for Anaheim?
• They can finally schedule that Presidents’ Trophy parade.
• They have always craved inclusion as one of the Bay Area’s big teams. But you can’t go winning and being all successful and hope to hang with the 49ers, Raiders, Giants, A’s and Warriors. They’d all be jealous. (Side note: Game 6 drew a 4.6 rating on CSN Bay Area, matching the highest first-round rating ever on the network. The field was wide open, the pump was primed for growth.)
• Doug Wilson needs extra time to figure out how to trade two guys with no-trade clauses.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
At the start of the playoffs, we posed this question of the San Jose Sharks: if not now, when?
And in the wake of yet another stunning playoff collapse, the answer seems patently obvious: never.
At least not until dramatic changes are made with a franchise that has become California’s hockey answer to the Chicago Cubs. A team that in many ways is the model franchise in its uncanny ability to identify, draft and develop young players without the benefit of high draft picks is also a team, at the risk of hurting some feelings in the congenial Sharks organization) quite clearly lacking anything resembling heart.
“We didn’t come through again. The bottom line is they were better than us and that is unfortunate.”
-Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov after losing to the Ducks last night. More from the Sharks at SanJoseSharks.com.
added 11:36am, Rob Blake, Evgeni Nabokov, Dan Boyle, Patrick Marleau and Coach Todd McLellan spoke with members of the media after Game 6 against the Anaheim Ducks… watch below.
from David Pollak of Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
A common question in the locker room afterward was one that’s been discussed around here since the Sharks fell behind at the start of the series: Do you think this team needs to be broken up at this point?
Most players (and we’re only talking four or five at most) said that really wasn’t up to them and they’d defer to the people who make those decisions. Only one — Rob Blake — said he’d keep the team together. And, considering his contract expires on June 30, did he want to be back for more? Yes, he did.
Me, I wanted to find out what Coach Todd McLellan said to the team in the post-handshake locker room. McLellan said he and his staff said nothing.
“We haven’t talked yet. We left them alone. It’s their time,” he said. “Coaches, they hear us all year. They need to be alone right now, talking to each other. We’ll have many days to talk to them coming up.”
OK, so I asked a few players what they had to say to each other?
As it turns out: Nothing. Just silence.
from Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle,
On the off chance that you believe that one big game has cured the Sharks of their big-line blues, let us waste no time in presenting their next issue:
After having been reunited and called out at the same time, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi had their best game in weeks, with the topper being Marleau’s overtime goal Saturday night. In the meantime, the overtime would not have been necessary had not Evgeni Nabokov given up two five-hole goals to Ryan Carter and Corey Perry in the first five minutes of the third period.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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